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In an article by the National Law Journal, McCormick Group Principal Ivan Adler discusses Arnold & Porter’s latest additions to its lobbying practice.

By Katelyn Polantz | December 17, 2015

Arnold & Porter’s most recent news looked a little out of the ordinary: The firm hired a group of 11 public policy specialists—aka lobbyists—from Squire Patton Boggs.

A broad public policy practice had been a volatile area for Arnold & Porter in years past and was a limited service in recent years inside the Washington-founded regulatory, corporate and litigation law firm. But the firm decided months ago it needed more legislative weight, especially to complement its large health care regulatory practice.

“We have decided that we needed to invest further in public policy in the health care space but also beyond the health care space,” Thomas Milch, Arnold & Porter’s chairman, told The National Law Journal this week. “The opportunity [to hire the Squire Patton Boggs group] presented itself unexpectedly a little bit, but not the subject matter. We had actually given it some thought,” Milch added.

The moves of Arnold & Porter’s competitors in Washington—namely, Covington & Burling and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr—to build out their own lobbying groups may have further put pressure on Arnold & Porter to lobby more.

“There’s a reason [Arnold & Porter is] doing it,” lobbying recruiter Ivan Adler of The McCormick Group Inc. said. “Obviously they think you need to have government affairs people in law firms to help clients. They’re looking around and seeing what their competitors are doing, and they don’t really have a strong bench. This is a move to increase the power of the bench.”

Currently, Arnold & Porter’s two main lobbying forces lie in former U.S. Rep. James Turner, who oversees clients such as Energy Future Holdings and Samsung Electronics America Inc., and Charles Landgraf, an insurance and financial services lawyer and lobbyist who works for Samsung and Lloyd’s of London, the firm’s largest registered lobbying client.

So far this year, the firm has posted about $2.5 million in Congressional lobbying disclosures, placing it not even among the top 20 lobbying presences in Washington, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The Squire Patton Boggs group could bump Arnold & Porter closer to the top lobbying firm bracket. Kevin O’Neill will be an Arnold & Porter partner and co-head of the legislative group and is a former deputy managing partner at Squire and right-hand colleague to legacy Patton Boggs leader Edward Newberry. O’Neill worked on more than $3 million of lobbying business in the first nine months of this year.

With him, Eugenia Pierson will join Arnold & Porter as a senior policy advisor and head of healthcare legislative advocacy, and Kristine Blackwood, a former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lawyer, joins as counsel. Associates Dana Weekes, Greg Louer and Pari Mody, policy advisor Amy Smith, senior policy specialist Amy Davenport and policy specialists Samantha Martin, Roxana Boyd, and Meredith Good-Cohn move with the group too.

When news of O’Neill, Pierson and Blackwood’s departures first broke over the Thanksgiving holiday, former Sens. John Breaux and Trent Lott, the leading lobbyists at Squire Patton Boggs, said in a statement: “We wish Kevin, Eugenia and Kristine well on their new endeavor as our firm continues to advance in a new and positive direction.”

The trio of lobbying principals, all fairly young in their private practice careers and who led Squire lobbying practices after several health care lawyer-lobbyists joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld last year, now are positioned to build out a fuller legislative group for Arnold & Porter.

“We haven’t ruled out the idea of bringing in someone who’s a former member” of Congress, Milch said. “But we really wanted to bring in someone who had a lot of ideas, and who can frankly operate at a ground level [that’s different] than a former member.”

Law firms with similar legal offerings to Arnold & Porter have dipped more toes into the lobbying pool recently […]


To read the rest of the article, go to | National Law Journal

To contact Ivan Adler, go to | Ivan Adler

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